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The NC Recre8'er - is the Blog for NC Recreation and Parks Professionals. We will feature posts from NCRPA members and staff about all the latest news, insights and tips in our field and around the state. Topics will include but are not limited to: Health and Wellness, Outdoor Recreation, Athletics, Advocacy, Aquatics, Therapeutic Recreation, Special Events, Marketing, Parks and Greenways, Cultural Resources and more! If you are interested in being a guest blogger please contact Matt at NCRPA or 919-832-5868. The opinions of The NC Recre8'er (NCRPA) blog contributors don't necessarily reflect the editorial position of North Carolina Recreation and Park Association as a whole.


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Creating a Successful 5k Run/Walk Race

Posted By Colleen Dougherty, NC Recreation & Park Association, Tuesday, January 19, 2016



Happy Tuesday,


I hope everyone is doing well on this Tuesday! Last week we had our January Wellness Webinar presentation conducted by Greg Walker, Fletcher Parks and Recreation, and mark Scott, owner of Fleet Feet Sports in Asheville. The webinar focused on organizing a 5k run/walk in your own community and discussed the benefits of partnering with a corporate partner for a race.


Greg and Mark discussed key items when planning a 5k run/walk race that will help it become a successful and enjoyable event for your community. First things first, location and setup are critical for a 5k event to run smoothly and efficiently. The location should be safe and secure, and the course is a total of 3.1 miles. Typically, loops or “out and backs” are the easiest for runners. Remember, water stations about the halfway point is important for the proper hydration of competitors. Have a little fun and creativity and designate a place for a “cheering squad” along the route to help energize the runners. Another important topic that was discussed are the volunteers needed for a 5k, they are the true heart and soul of the event. Depending on the size of the 5k, you will need around 15-30 volunteers. Reaching out to local high schools, running clubs, and service clubs to recruit volunteers is a good place to start. Sponsorship can help cut the overall cost of your event as well, some examples include: local running stores, banks or restaurants. Be sure to allow sponsors a table for promotion and giveaway items to be put in race packets for optimal promotion! Greg Walker and Mark Scott also discuss the race day timeline and race planning resources in the webinar! For more information, click the following Vimeo link to listen to their webinar presentation:


Lastly, remember that NCRPA is hosting the first-ever statewide 5k race on April 16, 2016. There is still time for your department to get involved. Visit the race page:, or contact myself ( ) or matt ( for more information. Or watch the latest 5k webinar to learn more of how to organize your own 5k run/walk in your own community, click the following link:


If you have any information and advice on 5k races then please email us or submit them on the wellness site here: (colleen@ncrpa.net


Tags:  5k Training  Active Lifestyle  Healthy Living  NC Recre8 5k race  Wellness 

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Wellness Webinars in Review

Posted By Colleen Dougherty, NC Recreation & Park Association, Monday, May 11, 2015

Happy Monday,

Can you believe it’s almost summer? As summer approaches, it is a great opportunity to discuss some of the previous webinars the Wellness Initiative has hosted during the course of 2015. There is plenty of valuable information and ideas that could potentially kick start a new program within your department! The NCRPA vimeo page has all past webinars recorded for your convenience, hopefully they might spark some inspiration. 

The first webinar of the year in late January featured Matt Carusona and myself. We discussed 8 programs for 2015. The webinar shared program ideas and activities that could be implemented year-round. Some ideas included: an outdoor family scavenger hunt, boot camp or yoga in the park, running groups, and beach workouts. If you need more ideas or inspiration for summer programs then you can view the webinar here:  

Our February webinar featured Scott Knox from Morrisville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources. Scott provided information regarding run groups and training for a 5k race. Scott went over key points, such as getting started, who to reach out to in your community, and vital information for organizing run groups and 5K training. If you want to learn more about run groups, you can view a video of Scotts Webinar here: 

The March webinar featured Ellis Hamburger who works on the Communications Team at Snapchat, Inc. Ellis hosted an informative webinar discussing the importance of physical activity for our overall health. Ellis discussed smartphone apps that provide us with the tools and inspiration to remind us to be more active and health aware. To learn more about other apps that inspire and support a healthier, more activity lifestyle please click the following link to listen to Ellis’s webinar:

During our most recent webinar, Beth Farrell of Thomasville Parks and Recreation, discussed the positive contributions to a community when implementing a community garden. Community Garden’s bring together the youth, adults, and seniors in the community, working together to create healthier eating options. Ultimately, it encourages exercise and healthy food access. If you would like to hear more from Beth regarding community gardens, then please click the following link to view her webinar:

Please stay tuned for the next webinar, May 27th at 1:00pm. Remember webinars occur the last Wednesday of every month from 1:00pm-2:00pm. Please mark it in your calendar, it is an opportunity to listen to departments across the state share program ideas and initiatives which ultimately benefit us all.

If you would like to host a webinar or have a question regarding future webinars, then please email us or submit them on the wellness site here: (,


Tags:  5k Training  Community Gardens  Healthy Living  Webinars  Wellness 

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"Run" Your Community

Posted By Colleen Dougherty, NC Recreation & Park Association, Monday, March 2, 2015

Good Morning,

Last Wednesday NCRPA was fortunate enough to have Scott Knox, from Morrisville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources, provide us with information regarding run groups and training for a 5K race. Scott emphasized that greenway trails can be perfect for recreational and wellness use, but many are not aware of their existence, or their ease of access. Run/Walk groups are a perfect way to educate communities on their park’s system, as well as the importance of health and wellness. Scott went over key points, such as getting started, who to reach out to in your community, and other helpful information of organization run groups and 5K training.

The first goal is to establish a base of interest. Social media, flyers throughout the community, and reaching out to people who would be interested in participating is a perfect place to start. The idea is to cater to families and individuals to contribute to the diversity of the running group, which will allow to meet the needs of all types of runners! The next step is to each out to an organization or special interest group that have similar interests or objectives as what you have set for the group. The groups can consist of healthy food vendors, sport equipment stores, or other sponsor groups. It will be easier to promote the run group if your department has external organizations reaching out to the community as well.

Now, where do we start? The key is to pick a time and place that will best suit your participants. Once again, it is important to promote the run group to all sorts of experienced runners. The next step is to provide the participants with something to follow, such as a 5K training program guide giving them a goal to achieve. Finding a way to instill motivation and inspiration among participants is critical for the success of a run group program!

Scott was extremely helpful with all the fruitful information that he provided. If you want to learn more about run groups, you can view a video of Scotts Webinar here: 

Please email or submit any run group or training for a 5k information that you may have so we can add it to our wellness toolkit! (,



Tags:  5K Training  Community  Family  Health  Parks  Programs  Run Groups  Trails  Wellness  Wellness bulletin 

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